“If tribulation is a necessary element in redemption, we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or of no further redeemable.” – CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain
I did not mean to read The Problem of Pain. When my Nana was days to the end I wanted to read A Grief Observed, but this book showed up instead. As chances are what they are, I picked it up and was encouraged in unexpected ways.
I often meet soldiers who are in pain. In fact, its about 90% of the soldiers who come to see me are experiencing pain in some way or another. I do joke at times that I would like to hear some good news, from time to time. I do not give the trite answer that God has all these things happening for their good… because even though I can see it they cannot. Its a brash answer given at times when care is needed most and not given. Its a speedy answer, not necessarily the most caring.
To pray for a world of no suffering… its the dream, right? “Peace in our time.” But that’s it, just peace for the present. How many times have I bartered for peace when reconciliation was needed? How often have I wanted to just sit and be in the quiet, thinking that was peace? I will insert into my prayers in formation what what we look forward to is the time without deployments and wars.
Tribulation is for the weak to be shown the goodness and strength of their god, and does he lack what they require of their god? Instead, in my bias, I cling to the God who ran to suffer for my sake, because He cares for me. There can be no peace in our time, because we are still in a world that “moans as if in pains of labor”. It wants to be redeemed. I want to be well. Neither of those can happen if not for the accepted suffering of the God who died in my place, and the knowledge of the present lacking in this rebellious world.
May He continue to find us worth redemption.